Monday Morning Briefing

Monday Morning Briefing

House Panel Approves Agriculture, Energy & Water Spending Bills

Last week the House Appropriations Committee approved FY18 spending bills that include funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Bureau of Reclamation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Department of Agriculture, among others.  In most cases the committee-approved measures would cut programmatic funding from current levels, but not to the extent sought by President Trump in his FY18 budget request.

The committee-approved Energy and Water appropriations bill would provide the Bureau of Reclamation with $1.24 billion next year, which represents a cut of $79 million.  However, the bill would deliver $6.16 billion for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, a slight $120 million increase above the Corps’ FY17 funding level.

The FY18 Commerce-Justice Science appropriations bill would provide NOAA with $4.97 billion, which is $710 million below the FY17 level.  Climate research funding would be cut by 19 percent, to $128 million.

Also approved last week was FY18 legislation to fund the Department of Agriculture.  The bill provides $20 billion in discretionary funding, $876 million lower than the current level.  The measure incudes $472.7 million for the Rural Water and Waste Disposal program, which President Trump had proposed eliminating after labeling it duplicative to EPA’s State Revolving Fund programs.

The funding legislation will now be put before the full House of Representatives, though the chamber’s leaders have indicated that they may roll all 12 FY18 appropriations bills into a single omnibus measure that could receive a vote before the August recess.